We’re warning anyone who is recruiting at the moment to be extremely cautious of people approaching them requesting booking confirmations and return of order forms without any prior contact.
Organisations are losing thousands of pounds, being tricked by companies sending out invoices with wording along the lines of “if you don’t return this form your advert will not go online/into print.”
Don’t allow this to cause you panic. Instead spend 5 minutes looking for the following suspicious signs:
– VERY short booking deadlines and attempts to rush you into signing an agreement.
– Request of payment directly without consulting your agency/finance department.
– No company registration number on the website.
– Poor website design.
– No advertising (i.e. banners or buttons).
– Non-local phone numbers (i.e 0844 or 0800 numbers).
– Location (Usually given on invoice but never shown on the website): Google Streetview will allow you to see this. Often you’ll end up looking at someone’s house, not a place of business.
– Lack of website content – a low number of pages, no articles, no news, no company details.
Check everything you can, addresses, websites and company registration numbers particularly. Is a listing on there really worth thousands of pounds? If this is the way that they have to operate to earn money then it’s unlikely. You could advertise in the national news for the types of costs appearing on these invoices.
We are urging organisations to be extremely vigilant to stop this from happening.
If you book your advertising through us, you will never see an order form or invoice from anyone else, it will always come from us.
Businesses, Registered Charities, Public Bodies, NHS trusts, anyone can be targeted. The more aware everyone becomes of this kind of malpractice the less damage will be done, and hopefully we will see far fewer of these operations. Please notify colleagues, hiring managers, internal communications teams and any others who can help to prevent this from happening.
If you aren’t 100% certain, trust your instincts and don’t commit money to anything. Feel free to call us and we’ll look into it too for you, no matter how small your concerns are, we’d rather spend 5 minutes checking an offer than allowing organisations to be tricked out of thousands of pounds.